More than a year after the Iowa Supreme
Court legalized gay marriage in the state, a poll finds a majority of
Iowans support the decision.
The poll released late Thursday by
local CBS affiliate KCCI in Des Moines, found that 53 percent of
respondents say they favor marriage rights for gay and lesbian
couples, while 41% are opposed.
The high court released its opinion in
April of 2009.
During the intervening 14 months social
conservatives have mounted a highly divisive effort to overturn the
ruling by defining marriage as a heterosexual union in the Iowa
That effort has been blocked by
Democrats in the Legislature, which must approve the constitutional
amendment before sending it to voters.
The Iowa Family Policy Center, the
state's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, and a group called
Purpose Ministries have collected signatures from over 800 Iowa
clergy, putting candidates for elected office on notice: support
banning gay marriage or forgo their support.
At a press conference Wednesday in Des
Moines, Iowa Family Policy Center president Chuck Hurley said all
statewide candidates to elected office in Iowa will be presented with
Another sign that Iowa voters are not
that interested in rolling back gay marriage can be found in recent
polling showing moderate Republican Terry Branstad with a 15-point
lead over businessman Bob Vander Plaats for the Republican
gubernatorial nomination. Branstad is the only GOP gubernatorial
candidate that supports limited gay rights, while Vander Plaats has
pledged, if elected, to halt gay weddings in the state with an
executive order until the issue is decided by voters.
Groups opposed to gay marriage,
however, insist voters will vote in favor of anti-gay marriage
“When folks go to the polls next week
and then in November, they will, in fact, support candidates who
understand their constitution and who will defend marriage,” Bryan
English of the Iowa Family Policy Center, told the network.